Manama: Bahrain on Wednesday handed a protest note to the Iraqi ambassador, calling for efforts from Baghdad to take measures to stop acts of terror targeting the kingdom.

“Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa has stressed the need for the Government of the Republic of Iraq to take all the necessary measures to prevent any form of interference in the domestic affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“He also urged it to put an end to the terrorist groups that use the Iraqi territory to threaten the safety and security of the Kingdom of Bahrain by recruiting, training and inciting terrorists to commit criminal acts inside the Kingdom,” the statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

The minister’s call follows evidence that the terrorists of the so called “Al Ashtar Brigades” have received training on the use of arms and explosives at the hands of “Hezbollah brigades” in Iraq, the ministry added.

“Shaikh Khalid told Ahmad Naif Rasheed Al Dalimi that the Kingdom of Bahrain highly values its relations with the Republic of Iraq and makes all endeavors to further bolster them in all fields and that it is keen to preserve the security, safety, stability and territorial integrity of Iraq and cooperates with the anti-Daesh coalition to eliminate the terrorist organization,” the statement said.

However, Shaikh Khalid added “Bahrain total rejects any interference in its internal affairs from any side, whatsoever, and reminds the government of Iraq that it has to take all the necessary measures to halt those criminal acts that aim to undermine Bahrain’s security and stability.”

Bahrain this week said it smashed a 14-member cell that carried out acts of terrorism between 2013 and 2015.

Advocate General Ahmad Al Hammadi, , the president of the Terror Crime Prosecution, said the prosecution had received a notice from the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science (CID) on the smashing of the cell.

“Investigations revealed two suspects, still at large in Iran, recruited members inside Bahrain to orchestrate terror acts under the so called ‘Al Ashtar Brigade’ and kept in touch with them to provide them with explosive substances and the needed funds,” Al Hammadi said.

“They also facilitated their travelling to Iraq where they received military training on making and using explosive materials and weapons in order to attack security officers in Bahrain and undermine the kingdom’s security.”

The terrorist group carried out terrorist acts over three years, including explosions in the areas of Sanabis, Daih, Budaiya, Shakhoura, Maqsha’a, Deraz, Hamad Town and a mall, he added.

“Several security officers were injured and two police patrol vehicles, private cars and the mall were damaged in the incidents,” he said.

“Ten suspects have been arrested and questioned by the Public Prosecution in the presence of their lawyers. All, except one, pleaded guilty to the accusations levelled at them. They are facing charges of setting up and joining a terrorist group, attempted murder of policemen, possessing and using explosive substances, carrying out explosions, training in using and making weapons and explosives and damaging properties for terror purposes.”